Abbott’s approval is down, as coronavirus cases go up

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In recent polling by The Texas Politics Project, Gov. Greg Abbott’s job approval rating has dropped, as the number of COVID-19 cases rises in the state.

The poll features numerous questions on attitudes toward the coronavirus pandemic, finding that Texans have become less approving of state and national leadership. In Abbott’s case, from April to June 2020 his job approval trend has decreased from 56 to 49 percent. 

This comes as Texas reports more than 200,000 cases and 2,600 deaths from COVID-19. According to projections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state is expected to get more than 2,000 hospitalizations over the course of the next two weeks as well.

Many Democratic leaders blame the so-called leadership from Abbott and other GOP leaders. One outspoken critic has been former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who called Abbott’s direction “negligent”:

“Abbott opens Texas too soon, issues mask order too late, denies local leaders authority to contain the virus — causing uncontrolled COVID spread, many hospitalized & soon dead because of his negligence — and then blames local officials?” O’Rourke posted on Twitter. “Pathetic. Resign.”

Abbott has not responded to O’Rourke yet, but in response to former Attorney General Eric Holder—who has also been critical of Texas leadership—Abbott deflected blame:

“Why have more Texans recovered from COVID than any other state & twice the number of New Yorkers?” Abbott tweeted to Holder. “Why is CA spiking more than TX even though it shut down harder & longer than TX?”

Abbott’s deflections only hold so much weight. Under Abbott’s orders, restaurants in the state are still allowed 50 percent capacity. And Abbott allowed bars to open on May 22, but then ordered for bars to close a month later, expressing regret: “If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars.

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and The Texas Tribune shows that 10 trauma service regions in Texas have more than 70 percent of their beds filled.

Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

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